Tag Archives: Recap

What I Loved [March 2019]

In an attempt to get back into the blogging swing, I wanted to revisit my monthly recaps but in a much more casual way! Instead of focusing on stats and posts, I’m sharing some of my favorite things about this month, from books to merch to life and everything in between!

BOOKS

March was a little bit of hodge-podge of a month! I had a few quick romance reads and then a span where I really read nothing at all for over a week… I was working on some things here and there but for a while, I just wasn’t in an audiobook mood! The more I binge watch things, the more I want to find new shows to watch, but I’m starting to come up with a good balance between books and TV (until new shows get released again, and forever debating when to catch up on Game of Thrones when I’m six seasons behind and still have to read at some point)…

 

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BOOKS READ (9):

MARCH READING STATS

  • # BOOKS READ: 9
  • # BOOKS DNF: 0
  • RATINGS:
    • 5 STARS: 1
    • 4.5 STARS: 0
    • 4 STARS: 5
    • 3.5 STARS: 1
    • 3 STARS: 1
    • 2.5 STARS: 0
    • 2 STARS: 1
  • FORMATS: 
    • AUDIOBOOK: 7
    • ARC: 1
    • HARDCOVER: 1

EVENTS & WANDERINGS

I went to Virginia/Washington DC to be a vendor at Apollycon in late March! I didn’t post any photos of it to my blog account but I had a lot of fun attending as a vendor and it was a great experience in so many ways! I got to see some old friends, meet some new friends, and spend time with my husband (who came to help and also turn it into a vacation with me) and my friend Kori from @_livelaughread who also helped me run the table! It was such a great event and I hope to attend again next year!

MOVIES & SHOWS

I started a bullet journal this year in part because I wanted to make my own reading journal but also so I could keep track of TV shows! I realized how much I actually watch while I’m working and when Shane and I sit down to watch things at night so I started keeping track of the shows I’ve been binge watching!

Here’s what I watched in March:

I was actually so busy with everything going on that I didn’t keep up in my bullet journal about my TV shows! I watched more Shameless and I think I’m nearing the end of Season 4 now. After reading KILLING NOVEMBER, I decided to head back into Deadly Class because they had the same kind of vibe and I’m now caught up on all current episodes! And long the way I’ve been watching some non-binges of other favorites like The Magicians and American Gods in their new seasons.

What I Loved [February 2019]

In an attempt to get back into the blogging swing, I wanted to revisit my monthly recaps but in a much more casual way! Instead of focusing on stats and posts, I’m sharing some of my favorite things about this month, from books to merch to life and everything in between!

BOOKS

I had a couple DNFs in February that screwed up my reading flow! Then I just decided to do a series re-read and getting into some more TV show binges, because that’s become quite a norm for me now! As much as I love spending all my time listening to audiobooks, I’ve really been enjoying this break from listening and I watched some great shows this month! But anyway, this part is about the books so let’s get to it!

 

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BOOKS READ (8):

DNFs:

  • Suspicious Minds (Stranger Things #1) by Gwneda Bond
  • The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) by Maureen Johnson

FEBRUARY READING STATS

  • # BOOKS READ: 8
  • # BOOKS DNF: 2
  • RATINGS:
    • 5 STARS: 2
    • 4.5 STARS: 1
    • 4 STARS: 2
    • 3.5 STARS: 0
    • 3 STARS: 3
    • 2.5 STARS: 0
  • FORMATS: 
    • AUDIOBOOK: 8
    • ARC: 0
    • HARDCOVER: 0

EVENTS & WANDERINGS

I stopped by local indie Harvey’s Tales again while I was in the area, just to stop in, and also made it into local Indies The Bookshop of Glen Ellyn (to drop off more candles!) and Prairie Path Books in Wheaton. I had never been into the Wheaton bookstore before and it was great to see the Glen Ellyn bookstore after its remodel!

 

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MOVIES & SHOWS

I started a bullet journal this year in part because I wanted to make my own reading journal but also so I could keep track of TV shows! I realized how much I actually watch while I’m working and when Shane and I sit down to watch things at night so I started keeping track of the shows I’ve been binge watching!

Here’s what I watched in February:

  • THE OFFICE (Netflix): Finished Season 5 (started in January), watched all of seasons 6-9 | SERIES FINISHED
  • BETTER CALL SAUL (Netflix, Amazon): Finished Season 3 (started in January), purchased Season 4 to watch via Amazon | SERIES FINISHED THROUGH CURRENT RELEASES
  • THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY (Netflix): Started and finished Season 1 | SERIES FINISHED THROUGH CURRENT RELEASES
  • THE SANTA CLARITA DIET (Netflix): Started and finished Seasons 1 and 2 | SERIES FINISHED THROUGH CURRENT RELEASES

I had a lot of fun completing my re-watch of The Office because I hadn’t seen the later seasons until earlier this year (which is what prompted my re-watch) and I still hadn’t seen all of the episodes! I had missed some here and there so it was great to really know that I’ve seen everything.

Shane and I loved Breaking Bad and we’ve been loving Better Call Saul! We dropped the money to buy the 4th season from Amazon so we didn’t have to stop watching it even though it’ll probably be on Netflix later this year.

I absolutely LOVED The Umbrella Academy and thought it was so good!! It was so enjoyable, I loved the abilities, the characters were great, and there were some awesome twists I didn’t see coming!

And lastly, I binge watched The Santa Clarita Diet in two days, basically watching the first season in one day and the second season the next day, both while I was working. It was so funny while being dark and I just had so much fun watching it!

I also watched all four Hunger Games movies after listening to the books as re-reads and I had never seen the last movie, actually! It was the perfect reason to re-watch the movies and finally see the very last one.

What I Loved [January 2019]

In an attempt to get back into the blogging swing, I wanted to revisit my monthly recaps but in a much more casual way! Instead of focusing on stats and posts, I’m sharing some of my favorite things about this month, from books to merch to life and everything in between!

BOOKS

I had trouble figuring out what book I wanted to kick off 2019! It didn’t need to be anything crazy but I do like starting the year on a good note, and I try not to make it a reread for arbitrary reasons. After four days of watching Netflix, I finally chose a book and then got into my reading swing! I ended up reading eleven books this month which with all the TV I watched is a pretty good number and a healthy start to the year!

 

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BOOKS READ (11):

JANUARY READING STATS

  • # BOOKS READ: 11
  • # BOOKS DNF: 0
  • RATINGS:
    • 5 STARS: 1
    • 4.5 STARS: 1
    • 4 STARS: 2
    • 3.5 STARS: 2
    • 3 STARS: 1
    • 2.5 STARS: 1
  • FORMATS: 
    • AUDIOBOOK: 9
    • ARC: 1
    • HARDCOVER: 1

EVENTS & WANDERINGS

I stopped by local indie Harvey’s Tales again this month, this time to drop off a candle order, and I can’t get over how cute it is! This time I got to stay and chat with some staff and I ordered myself a coffee to go, not to mention I did some shopping for myself… Oops! I picked up a copy of THE WICKED KING, an enamel pin, and a t-shirt which I’ve already worn multiple times. Their t-shirts were only $10 and that’s SUCH a good deal. A bookish shirt, a local business, and an affordable price? I was instantly sold.

 

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MOVIES & SHOWS

I started a bullet journal this year in part because I wanted to make my own reading journal but also so I could keep track of TV shows! I realized how much I actually watch while I’m working and when Shane and I sit down to watch things at night so I started keeping track of the shows I’ve been binge watching! Here’s what January brought:

  • BREAKING BAD (Netflix): Finished Season 1 (started in December), watched all of seasons 2-5 | SERIES FINISHED
  • YOU (Netflix): Watched all of Season 1 | SERIES FINISHED up to current releases
  • MANIAC (Netflix): Watched all of Season 1 | SERIES FINISHED
  • FUTUREMAN (Hulu): Watched Season 1, episodes 1-4 | SERIES ABANDONED
  • THE GOOD PLACE (Netflix, Xfinity On-Demand, Hulu): Watched Seasons 1-3 | SERIES FINISHED up to current releases
  • THE OFFICE (Netflix): Finished Season 1 (started in December), watched all of Seasons 2-4, watched Season 5 Episodes 1-3
  • BETTER CALL SAUL (Netflix): Finished Season 1, watched Season 2 Episodes 1-6

What I Loved [December 2018 and Year Wrap-Up]

In an attempt to get back into the blogging swing, I wanted to revisit my monthly recaps but in a much more casual way! Instead of focusing on stats and posts, I’m sharing some of my favorite things about this month, from books to merch to life and everything in between!

BOOKS

December was full of a LOT of re-reads, but it was actually pretty great because it kind of got me in the mood to read again! I had spent a lot of time in October and November watching shows, which is also great, but I did miss my books! I still have plans to do even more re-reads in 2019 (the Six of Crows duet, the Gentleman Bastard series), but I’ll probably space those out throughout the year! I know I’ll be reading SIX OF CROWS again in January before the release of KING OF SCARS!

 

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BOOKS READ (11):

December was kind of a mixed bag! With holiday orders to work on, I didn’t want to listen to a lot of new books if I knew my focus wasn’t going to be there, so I opted for a lot of re-reads for while I was working. I actually finished three physical copies with eight being audiobooks, which I feel was pretty good! With time spent with family and going out for the holidays, I had a little less reading time, and yet I had more reading time not having to go to work some mornings.

2018 READING STATS

This year was the year that I read the most, ever! I read 133 books which “beat” my 2013 original best of 132 by one book, but I also read more novellas in 2013 whereas my reads of 2018 were more full-length novels. This was also by far my biggest year page-wise, reading 50,275 pages (according to Goodreads, counting by whatever version I had listed there) versus my previous best of 42,569 in 2013, so that’s 6000 more pages!!

  • 2018 NUMBER OF BOOKS READ: 133
  • 2018 NUMBER OF PAGES READ: 50,275
  • NUMBER OF FIVE-STAR READS: 29
    • FIVE-STAR RE-READS: 17
    • FIVE-STAR NEW READS: 12
  • LONGEST BOOK: KINGDOM OF ASH by Sarah J. Maas
  • SHORTEST BOOK: PROS & CONS (novella) by Janet Evanovich
  • FAVORITE BOOK OF 2018: MORNING STAR by Pierce Brown

I also did a countdown with my bookstagram friends with our #12daysof2018 favorites! I won’t post all of the photos here but you can check out my Instagram to see my top 12 reads of the year!!

MOVIES & SHOWS

December brought a bunch of new Netflix episodes and shows! Shane and I watched all of the new episodes of The Ranch, and I caught up on new show The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, as well as new episodes of Fuller House and Travelers. Everything was so good!

I also started watching Westworld and made it into the second season, but to be honest, I got kind of bored. There were a few good surprises and twists, but the overall plot is a little lacking for me. I get the point of it but I don’t really care out the end-goal so I’m not sure if I’ll finish the second season. Maybe later on down the road.

I just started watching Breaking Bad for the first time and within a couple days, I’m already almost done with season two! I also started a little rewatch of The Office on a working day where I didn’t want to listen to or watch anything new, so we’ll see if I keep going with a whole re-watch.

Lastly, there was the new Black Mirror “Bandersnatch” episode that was a choose-your-own-adventure! I only watched it once but I heard that there really are actually multiple endings and that they’re different and don’t all lead back to the same ending like I had thought, so I’ll have to keep doing it a few more times to see all the different paths!

I think I’m going to start a bullet journal for 2019 for all of my reads and TV shows!

What I Loved [November 2018]

In an attempt to get back into the blogging swing, I wanted to revisit my monthly recaps but in a much more casual way! Instead of focusing on stats and posts, I’m sharing some of my favorite things about this month, from books to merch to life and everything in between!

BOOKS

November was such a busy month and I shamefully only posted four blog posts this past month! I’ve really been wanting to keep up with blog even though I’ve been so busy with candles but I’ve been so wiped out from all of the Black Friday preparation and orders that I keep falling asleep on the couch after I get home from a day of candlemaking! Hopefully this month, I’ll be able to do some working ahead and getting back to some blogging! I really do miss it.

 

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BOOKS READ (7):

This is almost definitely my “worst” month of the year but once again, I felt like doing a lot of binge watching and I just wasn’t in the mood for audiobooks. The only print book I managed to finish this moth was KINGDOM OF ASH but that was 1000 pages so I think that would normally count as like three books, haha! I did start THE BONE SEASON but I’m only halfway through so I wouldn’t have finished this month anyway, but I am really happy with my MISTBORN re-reads because there is SO much that I forgot!

EVENTS

In early November, I got to interview Marissa Meyer (see previous post) and attend her event in Naperville, IL! As always, it was so delightful to see her and I didn’t even make her sign 50 books haha! The event was a lot of fun with great energy and it was so much fun to attend for a book other than The Lunar Chronicles (I wasn’t able to make it to her last event in a previous year).

 

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Brittany (@bookswrotemystory), Megan (@meganthemeganerd), and I spent the weekend together for the event and we made a trip of it! We went out to Volumes in Chicago for some book-inspired coffee and some bookstore time and even stopped by a Friends-theme pop-up bar! I was kind of hoping for more with the pop-up bar, but it was still fun to pretend we were on the set of Friends!

 

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MOVIES & SHOWS

November was all about Dexter! I started a re-watch in October that led me all the way through November, finally finishing the series on the very last day of the month. There was a lot that I forgot in earlier seasons so it was good to refresh my memory and things were just absolutely crazy in the last few seasons! I really did enjoy every episode. I’m not sure I loved the way that it ended but it definitely made for an emotional finale and it was a good way to close things off. Now I only wish those season 9 rumors had been true! I googled just to make sure and nope, it was a fan-made poster that set the whole thing into motion. Not gonna happen.

Exclusive Interview with Marissa Meyer on the Archenemies Tour!

ARCHENEMIES TOUR

Marissa Meyer at North Central College/Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL

I always go see Marissa Meyer when she’s in town and I was so excited to be able to see her again in Naperville, this time for the ARCHENEMIES book tour! The amazing folks at Macmilan/Fierce Reads asked me if I wanted to interview Marissa before the event and of course I said yes! I sat down with Marissa to ask her a few questions about the Renegades series, super powers, and of course, Harry Potter sorting.

(Portions edited for time and flow, only affecting ease of reading and not the actual interview or answers.)

Brittany: We’re celebrating the release of ARCHENEMIES, which is the second book in the Renegades trilogy. The series was initially planned to be a two-book series. Did you always feel like it should have been a trilogy, or did that develop as you were writing the series?
Marissa Meyer: Originally, it did sell as a trilogy so for many, many drafts of RENEGADES. I wrote it attempting to make it a trilogy, but I had thought that the central idea of this hero and villain character falling in love wasn’t itself enough to carry it through three whole books. My plan had been to focus on other characters for the first two books and then Adrian and Nova were going to be the central characters of the third and final book… and it just didn’t work and it wasn’t working and it wasn’t working and after years and years of kind of pulling my hair out, we decided, you know what? Let’s just focus on Nova’s and Adrian’s story and make it a standalone! So RENEGADES became a standalone. I started writing it and finally it started to come together. Finally, I was able to focus on this story between Nova and Adrian, which is what I really wanted to be writing the whole time! So I’m writing it and it kept getting longer and longer and longer, and at some point I realized, hey! I think this could actually be two books. I told my editor and she was thrilled. So we made it two books and I finished RENEGADES. That was done and I started working on ARCHENEMIES, and it kept getting longer and longer and longer… And, at some point it became clear that it was actually three books! And so now it’s a trilogy and working on book three, and I’m preeetty sure we’re done at three. I’m pretty sure.
Brittany: That’s interesting! I like that, though! It’s like you never know where it’s going to take you.
Marissa: Yeah, this book has had a lot of surprises!

Brittany: That was actually one of my other questions! Was there any character scene that really surprised you as you were writing these books and brought you to places you didn’t expect? So I guess we kind of already answer that in part!
Marissa: Yeah. There are tons of things that surprised me! Hmm, what are some specific examples…
Brittany: Were there any characters that ended up getting more page time that you didn’t think were going to be such a big part of the book?
Marissa: No, if anything, there are characters that ended up getting less face time than I expected that they would initially, but it kind of fluctuates. There are characters who you didn’t see a whole lot of in book one, but then they come up more in book two. There’s a character who was supposed to play a huge role in book two and then it ended up not working at all. So now we’re going to see them in book three and that kind of whole [concept] got moved to book three. Then there’s, you know, ideas for scenes that you think will work and end up not working, or you’re writing along and suddenly character says something that completely surprises you and you have to go with it. I mean, there’s always things in writing that come up and change.

Brittany: I really love a well-rounded villain, and I love how often we get to see the inner-workings behind the villains in your books! We got to see Levana’s sort of origin story in FAIREST, the Queen of Hearts and her beginning in HEARTLESS, and now we have so much insight to the Anarchists with Nova being a main character in the Renegades trilogy! Are these types of characters more difficult to write because of their many layers? Or does that actually help you with so much to build off of?
Marissa: It depends! I mean, some of my hero characters are more difficult to write than others, and some of the villain characters difficult are more difficult to write than others, so it doesn’t seem to necessarily be one or the other. But certainly in writing the villains, I’m always trying to make sure that I really understand where they’re coming from. Whether it’s something in their past that has driven them to be a certain way, or something that they’re trying to accomplish that’s motivating them, I want readers to may say, “You know, well, I don’t agree with what they’re doing — they’re really making bad choices — but I can kind of understand why, or I can empathize with them on some level.” So as the writer, of course, I’m always trying to find ways to empathize with them and connect with them in the hopes that we’ll come across to the the readers.
Brittany: I think that’s really interesting with all of the Anarchists who kind of have different levels — there are some people who are so far gone and then Nova, especially being a main character —  you get to see how she interacts with the heroes. And I just think that’s really neat how you get to see all of that, all in one book.
Marissa: Well, thank you! I love writing the villains.

Brittany: Were there any specific sources of inspiration for some of these unique superpowers? Like Ruby’s? Or Honey & Danna with their insect connection?
Marissa: For the most part, [I go with it] if i get an idea that I think seems really cool. Most of the superpowers, I got the idea for them and thought they would just be cool ideas to write about, or were a very visual superpower. I like to write my books to have a very kind of cinematographic quality to them and so something that[, the visual superpowers,] I just thought it would be really neat to play with in different battle sequences and whatnot, so I’m always drawn to powers like that. Alternatively, if there’s something that I think I would really like to have, like that’s a superpower that I would love, then those tend to take top billing too.
Brittany: Were there any of the book that you were ones that you really wanted to have?
Marissa: Nova’s… I would love to never have to sleep! I do also like Adrian’s, too. I do not have any really artistic skill and I’ve always envied people who could drive and paint. You know, it’s sort of symbolic that there are people who could draw something, and it feels like it comes to life on the page. Adrian can actually make things come to life and I just think that’s so cool!

Brittany: The Renegades trilogy is your first release that didn’t have fairy tale inspiration. Was the writing process a lot different without having to go back to a specific source like that? Or did it have any different inspirations?
Marissa: So different, it was so different! I mean, when you’re doing a fairy tale retelling or origin story, like with HEARTLESS, you have a built-in framework already. You know, if I’m doing Cinderella — we know there’s going to be a stepmother. We know there’s going to be a ball. We know there’s to be some sort of shoe that gets lost — like there are things that you know are going to happen, and then you can kind of build the story off of that. But with Renegades being completely original, I had influences — plenty of influences — but nevertheless, I had complete freedom to do anything that I wanted with the story. At first I thought that was going to be great and so easy and fun! And it turned out to be the opposite… I had so many ideas and so many different directions that I thought about taking the story. I tried so many things and really got very lost many, many times and saying, “What could I do with this story? There’s so many options!” and lost focus with it again and again until I finally was able to figure out okay, what is this story that i’m trying to tell?
Brittany: Do you think there would be any like spin-offs or little novellas for the things that did have to get pushed aside?
Marissa: I don’t know! There are a couple of characters that ended up getting cut that I thought had potential for their own works… probably not in the Renegades world — probably a completely different universe’s story world — but I just like some of the ideas that came along with them and I think I could definitely recycle them into something new at some point. As far as, spin-off stories… I have felt like there’s definitely potential to do something from the Age of Anarchy. There’s certainly lots of cool stories that could be pulled from that time period! I don’t know that I will, but it’s something that I have thought about, so we’ll see.

Brittany: There are so many excellent character connections in this series, from family to friendship to romance to teammate. Do you have a favorite character relationship in the Renegades trilogy?
Marissa: Well, I always love the romance story lives obviously! Adrian and Nova, but I also Adrian’s dads, Simon and Hugh — I love every scene where we see them! I think they’re so charming. So in all of my books, everything I’ve ever written before, none of my characters ever have good families! Like, they’re always neglected, and abused — these poor characters of mine! And Adrian was really the first protagonist that I have where he comes from a healthy, loving family, and that is so refreshing to be able to write! I always enjoy those scenes.

Brittany: If you could get yourself a tattoo like Adrian does, which power would you give to yourself first?
Marissa: That’s really good question! I haven’t been asked that before…  I’m trying to think if there’s a tattoo that would let me fly…
Brittany: Wings on your feet?
Marissa: I’m going to have to think about that one!
Brittany: It’s a tough question! I couldn’t think of one for myself…
Marissa: Yeah, because all of his are very centric on like fighting! Even like the jumping thing — having tattoos on the soles of your feet sounds painful… so I’m not sure!

Brittany: If characters from your other books had superhero names and powers, what do you think they would be?
Marissa: So, the first that comes to mind for Cinder would be The Mechanic! She somehow be able to magically fix things… which she sort of already has that superpower! I could totally see Scarlet having fire power and being… the Scarlet Witch,  but that that already exists — there’s Scarlet Witch in Marvel! Hmm, like the Scarlet Flame or something! Wolf would probably [something like a shapeshifter]… There’s another word I was going for, but that works, so he can turn into a wolf!

Brittany: If we were to sort the Renegades characters into Hogwarts Houses, would all of the Anarchist be Slytherins, or will there be a good mix or balance in there?
Marissa: Good question! I almost feel like Nova might be more Ravenclaw than Slytherin…  She might even pass for Gryffindor. Honey would definitely be Slytherin. The Puppeteer, he would be Slytherin. Leroy… He could be Ravenclaw too. But maybe Slytherin. Who am I forgetting ? Phobia! We forgot Phobia!
Brittany: That’s a good question! Are we going to get to know more about Phobia? I’m very excited for that! I just feel like we’re being led up to that.
Marissa: He’s an example of someone who I thought was going to play a much bigger role in the first two books and then ended up not really coming to fruition, but he just become more central in book three.
Brittany: I’m loving the lead up, though. Like, you know that you’re going to get more information and that’s really exciting!

Brittany: I know you love writing romances and I love how naturally they develop. It’s not quick into romance, like you can feel that tension and everything leading up with Nova and Adrian. Is it hard not to just jump right into the kissing scenes?
Marissa: So hard!! All I ever want is for my characters to start kissing! In my very first draft that I ever wrote of CINDER, her and Kai were kissing on like, page 30. Like, let’s do this!! But yeah, I mean, i’m always looking forward to that part. But also as a reader, if the romance develops too fast and they’re kissing too soon, then I lose interest. Like no, no, no, I want the struggle and the tension and suspense, and I really like it to last as long as possible!

I had SUCH a great time interviewing Marissa and another big thank you to her for giving us this scoop and insight on the Renegades trilogy!

What I Loved [October 2018]

In an attempt to get back into the blogging swing, I wanted to revisit my monthly recaps but in a much more casual way! Instead of focusing on stats and posts, I’m sharing some of my favorite things about this month, from books to merch to life and everything in between!

BOOKS

Once I hit my Goodreads goal, I stopped worrying about how many books I was reading and started to let my brain relax a little bit. I did some more Netflix binge-watching, which seems to be more of my routine these days! I still got a good amount of reading done though with some new ARCs and audiobooks!

 

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BOOKS READ (11):

Well, 11 books seems to be the standard for me when I’m not trying to listen to an audiobook every day! I took a few breaks to watch some TV shows and I still ended up with 11 books completed like I did the last two months! I decided to do a few re-reads and I may do even more in November! I just haven’t been in the mindset to start new things (which is part of the reason I’ve been watching TV too) so the re-reads have been wonderful to revisit and they’re allowing my brain to relax a little bit more.

EVENTS

I had a fun bookstore day in mid-October where I visited some new bookstores, including Harvey’s Tales in Geneva, IL! It was their grand opening and the store is so cute. It’s in what used to be a home so it’s has gorgeous windows and lighting and such adorable charm. I grabbed a couple books to support my new local indie and I hope to visit often!

 

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I also went to the Laini Taylor event on the 17th at Anderson’s Bookshop! It was so much fun to see her again and hear some interesting things about the Strange the Dreamer duology! I’m glad I got to read MUSE OF NIGHTMARES before I went and it was lovely to hear her speak.

 

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And lastly, I went to see Sarah J. Maas at her Chicago stop in the last week of October! I’ve had some mixed feelings about her books lately but I was excited for the conclusion of the Throne of Glass series! I’m about halfway through the book right now and it took a while to get things moving but it is fun to be back in that world and remember how fond of it I was. She was also really fun to listen to and had some really funny stories! The event was SO big that we didn’t get to meet her (unless you were someone who purchased exclusive passes) but I had fun sitting with bookish friends and being at the event!

 

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MOVIES & SHOWS

I finished my binge watch of Castle Rock and really enjoyed it! I immediately started watching some other series and a couple friends recommended Black Mirror! I was afraid it was scary for some reason (I just feel like that was how it was advertised?) but it was more dark and scary in the sense that it was just so messed up and things like this totally could happen or totally do happen, thanks to technology. I was totally obsessed though and finished (almost) all of the episodes so quickly!

I was still in a mood for something spooky or Halloween like and I did an annual watch of Hocus Pocus, then started on a re-watch of Dexter. I had been meaning to finish that series forever but I couldn’t remember where I left off all those years ago so my friend Megan suggested I just start from the beginning! I’m actually really glad that I did because there was so much that I forgot about! It really is such an enjoyable show, besides the fact that it’s dark and about a serial killer.

Author Signing Recap | Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Obsidio

I finally got to meet amazing author duo Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff this month at the signing for OBSIDIO! It was especially exciting since both authors hail from Australia and made the trek out to the US for a US tour, and obviously even. more exciting was that Anderson’s Bookshop hosted them!

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I was a little surprised that they had it at their LaGrange location since that tends to be a little crowded and I expected the place to be packed, but it wasn’t AS bad as I thought it was going to be. The place was definitely packed but I think everyone was able to get a decent view, even if we did end up in standing room only!

I attended the event with my friends and Novelly Yours candle reps Brittany (@bookswrotemystory on Instagram) and Megan (@meganthemeganerd on Instagram). Megan also lives in Chicago so it’s nice to be able to meet up with her for events so I’ve got a buddy to actually attend the event with, and Brittany came in town from Ohio to see these two authors and to hang out!

The event itself was so much fun! As expected, Amie and Jay were so much fun to listen to, cracking jokes, explaining funny situations, and playing off each other so well. I could easily see how they get along so well and form this great writing team! There were a number of questions for the pair (no, they’re not romantically linked — they each have their own spouses and are just platonic friends) and it was so neat to see the series come to life even more!

 

We learned that Jay wrote mostly all of AIDAN’s parts in the book because according to Amie, she’s “just not that weird” and that Amie’s favorite character to write was Rhys’ quiff (his hairstyle, in case you’re not familiar with the word) in OBSIDIO because it defies the natural laws of peril. They did a great job of keeping spoilers out of things, which is always appreciated, and I loved all of the other things they did share about the series!

Mostly, it was just really neat to meet them both and they were both SO nice. They even personalized every single book that people brought to the event which was up to 15-20 for some people!! I had such a good time and I’m so glad I got to meet the two and get my books personalized!

Throwback Thursday | #TBT | June 11 – 17

Throwback Thursday

One thing I’ve noticed throughout my years of blogging is that old posts tend to be forgotten about once the week has come and gone. Some of my absolute favorite blog posts have been written months ago — or even years ago — and with the fast-paced nature of social media, it’s easy for posts to be missed, overlooked, or plain forgotten.

I used to do a monthly recap but it was sort of a lot of information at all once and to be perfectly honest, it was quite exhausting to put together! In its place, I thought a Throwback Thursday concept would be fun to highlight what happened this week in previous years! It’s a quick and easy way to share old memories (something I always love doing) as well as posts I’ve loved in the past and sharing them with audiences new and old.

2015

  • I Believe in American Hogwarts: Right when we were starting to get news about the Fantastic Beasts movie, we heard there was an American version of Hogwarts. Naturally, I started hypothesizing over what it would be like!
  • 10 Things I Felt About This Book: Cinder by Marissa Meyer: I started re-reading The Lunar Chronicles in anticipation for WINTER and I kicked it off with some re-read thoughts on CINDER!
  • 10 Things I Felt About This Book: Loop by Karin Akins: This was the first “10 Things” post I did to start a more informal book review. For some reason I was having the hardest time coming up with words to say about LOOP even though it was awesome so I decided to take a different approach!

2014

2013

2012

INSTAGRAM

2015

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Photos of DISSONANCE by Erica O’Rourke for a #bookstagram challenge!

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My weekly recap for this week last year with acquired, read, and currently reading.

2014


Want to do your own Throwback Thursday? Feel free! Just use the graphic above or mention that you saw it here! 🙂

Fierce Reads Tour Fall 2014 (Chicago): Recap, Author Interview, and Giveaway!

FIERCE READS TOUR

Marissa Meyer, Gennifer Albin, Jessica Brody, and Nikki Kelly
Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Arlington Heights, IL
October 10, 2014

Macmillan is amazing. The Fierce Reads tour is really always one of my favorite tours and I was SO happy to accept the offer from Macmillan to not only be the official blogger on this stop of the tour, but also to moderate the event! I was so excited but admittedly terribly nervous too! (Not to mention how nervous I was meeting Marissa Meyer for the first time!!!) But I buckled down, put my questions together, and I was so ready to get my interview on with the Fierce Reads ladies!

I had a blast interviewing the Fierce Reads ladies! Let’s see what they had to say on books, writing, and more!

(Portions edited for time and reading purposes and will not affect the overall outcome of the show interview.)

Brittany: If you had to describe your book as THIS meets THAT — like Dracula meets Mean Girls — what would yours be?
Jessica Brody: Mine I’ve always said is Bourne Identity with an Inception-like twist.
Marissa Meyer: I would say that mine is Star Wars meets The Brothers Grimm.
Gennifer Albin: The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Matrix.
Jessica: I like Madmen meets The Matrix.
Gennifer:do like Madmen meets The Matrix…
Nikki Kelly: I’m gonna look to Jessica to answer this one for me!
Jessica: Well, Supernatural meets… City of Bones?
Nikki: Everyone wants to say Twilight —
Jessica: It’s not Twilight, though. It’s very different.
Nikki: It’s not — it’s very different. Maybe True Blood. Supernatural meets True Blood? Although that’s quite risqué.
Marissa: Is string theory the theory that’s all about different dimensions?
Gennifer: No, it’s universes are on strings, basically. Time is a string.
Nikki: What was that movie where [whoops, that’s a spoiler! Taken out so we don’t spoil LAILAH for you!] Maybe Supernatural meets City of Bones, then.
Jessica: The Mortal Instruments meets Supernatural.
Nikki: Yeah, we’ll go with that!

Brittany: Were there any major influences from other authors or books that really inspired your writing?
Marissa: Authors or books specifically?
Brittany: Either one. Or movies… TV…
Marissa: Well my biggest influences are Firefly, which is the most awesome sci-fi TV show ever because in Firefly is has this crew of totally random people that have completely different personalities and it’s like, “Let’s stick them on a spaceship and see what happens!” So going into The Lunar Chronicles, it was like “I just really want a whole bunch of people on spaceship to see what happens!” And then my other big one is Sailor Moon which is really what gave me the idea for the Lunars and a lost princess.
Gennifer: I’m now imagining The Lunar Chronicles like it’s a reality show. [announcer voice] Four princess, contained on a spaceship! What happens when people stop getting along?
Jessica: Who will be voted off next? I’d watch that show!
[laughter]
Jessica: One has been locked in a satellite for years and the other is just crazy!
Marissa: We need to make this a thing!
[we all bring it back around to the question]
Jessica: I think I was really influenced by the TV show Lost in just kind of the mystery and… hopefully my ending is better than theirs, but just the way they pieced these little pieces together and I love the mystery of that show. And I’ve always loved movies like The Matrix and Inception, obviously, and The Bourne Identity because the memory loss thing. I just love the idea of someone waking up with no memories finding out they’re a superhero. That’s just… the dream, right?
Nikki: Better than waking up post-apocalyptic!
Jessica: Waking up and the world’s been taken over by zombies! Not the dream.
Gennifer: For some people it is…
[Zombie tangent!]
Gennifer: Umm, influences… well, I think ever book you ever read influences you in some way. I hate pointing to a specific book because then people like to be like, “OH, now I see how you ripped that off.” [laughter] So I’m gonna go with movies and TV! And I would say that the kind of back and forth banter came from my love of screwball comedies of the ’40s. So like Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant… that whole crew, how they were constantly going back and forth. Actually, I think Cary Grant would make a great Cormac… which is impossible but he would be very handsome and suave and do a good job with the one-liners. And I always used to joke that I went to the J.J. Abrams school of writing because I like to leave a chapter on a… BOOM! A major revelation to the person! Or they finally kissed! Everyone’s like, “God, now I have to read the next chapter!” And I’m like, “That’s the idea!” [everyone agrees] I had another writer say to me one time, “Well I like to end it so people can shut the book and go to bed” and I was like, “You’re doin’ it wrong!” Sometimes when people shut the book and go to bed, they forget to ever open it again. That happens to me!
Marissa: That’s so crazy that a writer would say that.
Jessica: Let’s hope we don’t know this person!
Gennifer: So the Alias school of writing because I didn’t watch lost… I stopped watching Fringe after the first season because I already the second book written but I was like, “I’m going to be influenced by this” so I stopped watching it and I just finally watched all of Fringe and I was like, “WOW!!! We were REALLY on the same page on lots of things! I’m really glad I didn’t watch you. Also, why don’t I write for your show?” So yeah, J.J. Abrams and screwball comedies from the 1940s. Obviously these two things go together.
Jessica: So another answer to the first question is, it’s screwball comedies meets J.J. Abrams.
Nikki: And I’d probably say, do you remember Sliders from the 90s?
Gennifer: YES, I own the box set!
Nikki: That’s when I first discovered Jerry O’Connell… and then he popped up in Scream! But I loved that show and all different dimensions, different to what’s going on in Lailah with three set dimensions but they would use their little um… doobie-doo device. [Talking about Sliders for a while and possible spoilers for the show! Which convinced me that I really do need to watch more of this show…] And the thing would probably be Tales of the Unexpected which was an 80s and 90s show as well which was 15 minutes shorts where at the end it was a “tale of the unexpected” so there was a twist at the end of each episode and I think that’s why I write with twists now.

Brittany: If you had one subplot or minor character that could go off on its own tangent, who or what would it be?
Marissa: I don’t know if I can answer that because it’s kind of something I’m not supposed to talk about! I’ll say that there IS a minor character that I’d like to do a tangent of, therefore I’m probably I’m going to do a tangent of and that’s all I’m going to say.
Nikki: Oooh, that’s really leaving them hanging! That’s how we do it.
Gennifer: Approved!
Jessica: I would love to do a story from Cody’s point of view — my little foster brother — but before he grows up and gets all old. Maybe like a middle grade! Him at thirteen. I did write a short story from Cody’s point of view from the first time he met Seraphina and I had a lot of fun with that because writing him from Serafina’s point of view is a whole different experience than writing from his head so. That’d be fun!
Gennifer: I feel like… We do these things for tour where we write short stories and a lot of times they’re other people so… I have one to do for Loricel so I have that one coming up for me, but I guess I’d probably go back and maybe do some prequel bits, actually, where you saw various characters before you met them. I think it’d be interesting to see Adelice’s parents [book two spoilers redacted!] So maybe them and I’ve had some people ask me to write Valerie and Enora’s love story but I’ve never had the time.
Nikki: I have written two short stories — one Jonah and one Gabriel which are online right now — and they’re set from Jonah and Gabriel’s point of views and they’re both prequels because Gabriel’s is set 100 years ago and Jonah’s is set before we meet him in the first book so probably 10 years, 11 years prior to chapter one of book one so I already got play with that and that was fun. But maybe Hanora if I was doing another one just because she’s an interesting character. Nobody likes her so I’d like to maybe just see how she sees things and her perspective of what’s going on when it all happens.
Jessica: I did write from Zen and Kalen’s point of view — two novellas! One is out now called Undiscovered and one is coming out in January called Unleashed.
Marissa: And I got to write a prequel about the evil queen that’s coming out in January called Fairest.
Gennifer: It was supposed to be a novella… like the rest of us… and then she went way above and beyond.
Marissa: Things just always get longer than they’re supposed to.
Brittany: No complaints here!

Brittany: What’s one gadget or invention in your books that you’re particularly proud of or fond of creating?
Jessica: I love that question! …. But I have to think about it.
Gennifer: I’d say mine are actually the panels that the sunrunners use in the second book because I spent a lot of time reading about solar energy so that I could use terminology that sounded like I had some idea what I was talking about and I actually DID at that point and so those could actually exist. I invented them. Kind of.
Nikki and Gennifer: Copywright Gennifer Albin.
Jessica: I have two. One I actually didn’t invent I just kind of… stole and then expanded but recently the creator of Tesla announced that he wants to create something called a hyperloop which is a little capsule that goes like, a zillion miles an hour using vacuum? Magnets? I can’t remember which one but you can basically get from LA to San Francisco in thirty minutes and he has a plan to implement this in California in the next 20 or 50 years, so I just made the assumption that in the future they will be using these to transport themselves around so I put that in book three which was super fun to establish a world like that. I feel like all future books they travel by train and I was like, “I don’t want to do a train. I want to do something else.” So I put the hyperloop in. One thing I created that actually got taken out — this is going to be a deleted scene — Diotech creates this genetic alteration that’s called the “eternal puppy” and it’s basically where you can make a puppy stay a puppy for its entire life.
Gennifer: That’s like, the scariest thing I’ve ever heard.
Jessica: But they would mature as a dog but they would always stay cute and little for their whole lives! But I had to cut that scene because it just really didn’t do anything for the plot.
Marissa: After hearing that I’m like “Why did Scarlet and Wolf waste all their time on that train…?” Why didn’t they take the hyperloop!?
Jessica: But then they wouldn’t have had the scene.
Marissa: For me again not really my invention but all of the characters in my future world have ID chips implanted in their wrists and this acts as their identification and their money and you can scan anybody’s thing and see their Facebook profile — except it’s not really Facebook but you know — and I think that would be just so convenient. Never have to carry your purse or your phone. And every time I have my Starbucks app and I go to pay with my phone I’m like “We’re almost there.”
Nikki: Probably in Lailah, the crystal in Styclar which gives life to their world. I don’t know if that’s an inventions so much as an energy source but it creates light and life. It was from my head and therefore… I don’t think there’s a crystal somewhere in another world is there that beams out lights at a certain frequency that creates life of beings and all sorts of fun things. And for things that are not my invention, you’ll probably notice there are lots of iPhones and Range Rovers in my book and that’s because I’m hoping for a sponsorship deal! [laughter]

Brittany: What types of scenes are your favorite to write?
[kissing noise and general agreement]
All except Jessica: Kissing scenes!
Jessica: I don’t like writing kissing scenes. I like writing fight scenes! Not like physical fight “take ’em down” scenes but arguments between characters. I feel like that’s when their true personalities come out.
Marissa: Like sparring, verbal repartee, that is fun.
Jessica: Yes! And I love when my characters get in fights when I don’t plan them to. I just had a scene where I was like this is just going to be a normal scene where they walk to the locker (I’m working on a contemporary book) and suddenly they started fighting and I was like, “YES! Let’s do it!” And then once I was done I was like, “Of course they have to fight here. There hasn’t been any tension for the past three chapters. There has to be a fight! Thank you characters for reminding me about that!”
Nikki: And then us three all like the kissing scenes. Kissing and swooning! [Gennifer and Marissa agree]
Marissa: Big, epic gestures of romance.

Brittany: Your books make up some of our biggest fandoms. What are some of yours?
Gennifer: Doctor Who!
Marissa: Firefly! Sailor Moon.
Nikki: Doctor Who.
Jessica: Frozen! Is that a fandom?
Gennifer: It’s like the biggest fandom out there right now!
Jessica: There’s a lot of four-year-olds in that fandom.
Gennifer: But that’s okay!
Jessica: What are they called? Froze-hards? Oh, that doesn’t sound right! [lots of laughter]
Gennifer: The Gilmore Girls fandom is coming back HARD core now that’s it on Netflix and I’m like, “LET’S GO! Let’s do this! Let’s get our movie.” And Veronica Mars. That’s big one for me. Oh my god, I’m a marshmallow!

Brittany: Have you ever received amazing fan art for your books or received and awesome gift from a fan?
Gennifer: Marissa’s actually wearing one.
Marissa: Yes, a fan actually made me this awesome Lunar Chronicles necklace with all the charms that represent the different fairy tales. I get a lot of awesome stuff from fans!
Nikki: Some of us don’t.
Gennifer: Who got all the gifts yesterday! Lailah cookies!
Nikki: I do get a lot of cookies! And Lucky Charms cereal. Just the marshmallows! It wasn’t even the crappy fiber stuff!

Brittany: Wine and cheese style question: what food or beverage item would be a good pairing for your book or series?
Jessica: Well mine’s kind of obvious because in Unremembered she eats a grilled cheese sandwich and it’s a very influential scene…
Marissa: A euphoric moment.
Jessica: It is because it’s the first thing she remembers eating and she kind of falls in love with it so it’s kind of a pivotal scene for her getting reintroduced to the world so I would go with the grilled cheese sandwich and for the blog tour of Unremembered I actually did a video on how to make a grilled cheese sandwich so you can find that on my YouTube channel. It’s very difficult!
Marissa: For the Cinder blog tour I did a “cooking with Marissa” show and made shrimp dumplings because they eat it in one of the chapters and it was so much fun but nobody ever watched it and I was like, “I really wanted to keep making these but I guess I won’t” because it took like, all day long!
Gennifer: There’s so much food in Crewel! I would have a hard time choosing. I like to put curry in all of my books. Even in my contemporary books, people are always eating curry.
Marissa: There was a lot of curry in Cress too!
Gennifer: Yeah, I liked that about your book! And she also has a chocolate torte.
Nikki: Tea in Lailah because she makes a lot of tea, and chocolate digestives. Not cookies as the book says because they American-ized it but chocolate digestives.
[tangent about the word “digestive” which ultimates boils down to the fact that it’s a specific type of cookie although the American gals agree that “digestive” is a terribly unappealing word in America! And how a “cookie” in England is any cookie that has chocolate chips and a “biscuit” is every other cookie]
Marissa: So for mine in book three, there’s this big royal wedding being planned and there’s this one scene where Prince Kai is meeting with the wedding coordinator and she starts going over the wedding menu and it’s like a traditional nine course menu. I planned out the whole thing and it took me like three pages to describe it in the first draft and I had every course from a different so there was a Korean course and a Philippines course and my Indian course and I had so much fun designing this menu and then one of my beta readers was like, “You realize you just took three pages to design and describe a feast. So I ended up cutting it all and only a few of them got mentioned in the book but then I ended up writing a blog post about it but I really, really want to have this feast some day. I really want to have this really fancy dinner party and nine-course meal.

Brittany: Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
Nikki: Oh, yeah, I do. Obligatory cup of tea and twerk in the kitchen before writing. And then I write in my pants (which is knickers). [And yes. She does mean twerking as in twerking.]
Gennifer: I don’t really have… I need something to write ON and I prefer to have paper and pencil nearby because I like to scribble notes to myself and do some diagramming.
Marissa: Yeah, I like to have paper, and something to drink. Usually water but sometimes coffee or wine or something. Depending on whether it’s before or after noon!
Nikki: I like how you went from water to coffee to wine! Brandy… vodka…
Jessica: For me, I only drink coffee when I write so coffee has an extra, special effect — it’s like magic juice — so I have my coffee and I have my giant, noise-cancelling headphones where I blast this white noise with a special technology called brain entrainment so there’s actually a frequency that gets played under the white noise that brings your brain into focus mode.

Brittany: Are there any questions you always dread being asked?
Marissa: “Where do you get your ideas?” I don’t really dread that because the answer is so easy because you get asked it all the time.
Jessica: I’m always curious too but you just get tired of it. I don’t like getting asked my favorite book and I know it get asked all the time because I just can’t choose. It’s just so hard! I feel like if I don’t give “the right answer” someone’s going to come smite me. It’s a lot of pressure!
Marissa: Every once in a blue moon, you’ll get someone who’s like… trying to stump you. They’ll ask you a question about the world building or the technology like, “In chapter 40, you said THIS but did you know that actually scientists have said –” you know, that sort of question. And a lot of times it’s stuff I actually have considered and usually have a thought out response but every once in a while it’s like, “I don’t know. How was I supposed to know that?”
Nikki: That’s when you just say, “It’s fiction.”
Marissa: Creative license!
Nikki: If you feel like something’s missing, it was intention. You’ll find out in the next book!
Gennifer: You always get lots of writing questions on these panels. And there’s sometimes that mix when you go into an event and … I tend to just want to talk about books and fun stuff and there’s a couple of people who show up and they actually want you to figure out how they’re going to be come writers so the questions aren’t even broad-based questions but like, “How many queries did you send and what was your rejection rate and did you send them at a specific time of day?”
Marissa: I think I was on the Cress tour and it was in a really small town and so the bookstore that was hosting it was worried that they wouldn’t be able to get anybody to come and so they marketed it as writing workshop and I showed up and I was like, “I have no intention of giving a writing workshop! I’m just gonna talk about my books.” And there was only maybe like twelve people in the audience and one of them bought a book. They were just writers and they wanted the secrets of getting published.
Nikki: You should have said, “Buy five books and I’ll talk.” [laughter]

Brittany: The last question is actually “What’s one of the books that your recommend this most?” — Not favorite!
Jessica: That’s different! I recommend Eleanor & Park [by Rainbow Rowell] to anyone who lives and breathes and reads. And even if you don’t read, I’ll still recommend Eleanor & Park to you.
Brittany: Audiobooks!
Gennifer: I have been known to recently push The Discover of Witches series [by Deborah Harkness] on basically anyone who will listen to me so I would have to go with that one!
Marissa: Right now my two big series are The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo which all three books are out so you can sit and read them and marathon them so you don’t have the pain of waiting for the next book like I did!
Nikki: And the Darkling prequel is in the Barnes and Noble edition of Ruin and Rising so you can have that too!
Marissa: And then I am also super obsessed with The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski and there’s only one out — The Winner’s Curse just came out this year and I just finished and early copy of The Winner’s Crime and it was AMAZING.
Nikki: I would just echo Marissa and say I was on The Grisha Trilogy for about six months. I came into it when the third one was just coming out so I came into it at the right time.
Jessica: Oh wait, can I add one more? I also pitch The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.

I had SUCH a great time interviewing these wonderful ladies and what a fantastic night it was! Another huge thank you to them for some really great answers and such a fun interview!

After the interview, we headed downstairs for the live event! I was so excited to moderate and I cannot express enough how excellent these ladies are! They really had such great answers to everything, they’re so much fun, and had great interactions with the crowd. Since the first interview is SO detailed, I’ll just give you a brief rundown of how the event went + some important things from the Q&A!

FierceReads2014

 (I stole this picture from Katie/Polished Page Turners! I didn’t have a picture of me moderating since, well… I was moderating!) 

  • After the authors introduced their books, I asked them which of their characters is their favorite to write. Jessica Brody said that she loves to write Cody. Her editor actually wanted to cut that character but Jessica fought for him to be kept in the books! (She sends her editor all the fan letters for people who have told her that they love Cody!) Gennifer’s was (of course) her villain and Marissa’s favorite is Iko.
  • I asked the authors which power or ability from another panelist’s book they’d like to have and most agreed they’d want Seraphina’s super genius skills! Jesssica then said she’d want Adelice’s powers so she could rip people from universes if she didn’t like them.
  • The authors talked about the challenges they face in building worlds in their books and one of the hardest things was making sure everything worked in future books so the advice was to make sure you have those plans first! Marissa also created a very diverse and vast world incorporating many cultures so she had to make sure she did each of them justice.
  • I asked them about how their writing has changed from the beginning of the series (or book) to the end and many noticed their writing matured. Others ended up spelling things different (Nikki spelling “cruel” like “Crewel” and Gen finally fixing a typo!)
  • I asked which Hogwarts house their main characters would be in (the audience LOVED this) and they said:
    • Jessica: Seraphina –> Ravenclaw
    • Nikki: Hasn’t read or seen Harry Potter! (The only British person on the panel hasn’t read it, she said haha) She said “the best house” and knew that Slytherin was bad so NOT that one. The other ladies decided Lailah would Gryffindor
    • Gennifer: Adelice –> Gryffindor (and she has red hair! Maybe she could be a Weasley!)
    • Marissa: Agreed about Gryffindor and red with Gennifer for Scarlet. Cinder would also be Gryffindor and Cress would be Hufflepuff. Later a fan asked about all the boys and she said Kai would be Hufflepuff. We pressed “What about Thorne?” and she couldn’t decide. I said, “He probably dropped out!” and the authors laughed and agreed!
  • We wrapped up with panel with some audience Q&A!

Another HUGE thanks to these four wonderful authors! They were so fantastic and gracious for letting me grill them about their books all night and I couldn’t have been more thankful for the experience. A HUGE thank you to Macmillan to for providing me with this opportunity to interview the authors, moderate a book event, and make some of my dreams come true! It’s such an honor to be working with all of them.

Then after the panel, I stayed and chatted with some fellow bloggers and other event attendees before getting my books signed by all of the authors! (Poor Marissa. I made her sign my whole stack but she was really kind about it and happily personalized all ELEVEN. What a lady.)

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GIVEAWAY

The giveaway is thanks to the wonderful folks at Macmillan!! One lucky winner will receive ALL FOUR featured Fierce Reads books: UNFORGOTTEN by Jessica Brody, UNRAVELED by Gennifer Albin, CRESS by Marissa Meyer, and LAILAH by Nikki Kelly! (This giveaway is US only.)

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